la-siv'-i-us-nes (aselgeia, "licentiousness," "wantonness," "unbridled lust," "shamelessness," "outrageousness"):
Etymologists assign three probable sources of aselgeia, namely:
(1) from a compound of the alpha privitive (negation) and Selge, a Pisidian city whose inhabitants according to Thayer (New Testament Lexicon) "excelled in strictness of morals," but, according to Trench, a place whose people "were infamous for their vices";
(2) from a compound of "a" intense, and salagein, "to raise a disturbance or noise";
(3) from a compound of the alpha privitive a- and selgo, or thelgo, "exciting disgust or displeasure." It evidently means conduct and character that is unbecoming, indecent, unrestrainedly shameless.
2. As Used in the New Testament:
Mark uses it in 7:22 with uncertainty as to the vice meant. Paul (2 Corinthians 12:21) classes it with uncleanness and fornication as sins to be repented of; also (Galatians 5:19; compare The Wisdom of Solomon 14:26, "wantonness") puts it in the same catalogue with other works of the flesh; and (Ephesians 4:19) he refers to some aged ones so covetous, that they made trade of themselves by giving "themselves up to lasciviousness." The same word is translated "wantonness" in Romans 13:13, meaning wanton manner, filthy words, unchaste movements of the body. Peter (1 Peter 4:3) mentions those who "walked in lasciviousness, lusts, winebibbings, revellings, carousings, and abominable idolatries." He speaks (2 Peter 2:2) of "lascivious doings" (the King James Version "pernicious ways"); (2 Peter 2:7) "lascivious life" (the King James Version "filthy conversation"); and (2 Peter 2:18) of "lasciviousness" (the King James Version "wantonness"), as a means "to entice in the lusts of the flesh." Jude 1:4 probably does not refer to any form of sensuality in using the word descriptive of "ungodly men" who perverted the faith of some and denied our only Master.
William Edward Raffety